Hope and Healing

Fighting Injustice: Lessons from MLK

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Last week was the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder. I am old enough to remember that day. I am fascinated by him but have marveled over the years at how his reputation has mellowed. Make no mistake, MLK was radical. He demanded society and individuals change. He may have done so in a non-violent way, but still, he was radical. In looking at his thoughts and actions, it is clear that he was more worried about the silence of “friends” than the angry noise from his enemies.

MLK never just spoke out against evil and injustice. He presented alternatives. At rallies against prejudice, he gave a vision for a better world. He believed no one wins if someone loses.

This is one of my favourite quotes:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

As I read more about MLK, I think about what I can learn. Hope and Healing is also in a struggle with society. Our work must demand that the injustices people with disabilities endure – abuse, attitudes that harm, barriers, and lack of access to services –cease. Make no mistake, we must speak loudly on these issues. But speaking out is not enough. Hope and Healing presents an alternative. We can show the way. Together, we can bring light to the darkness. That is our work.

-Ed Epp, Hope and Healing Executive Director